stroke

verb (1)
\ ˈstrōk How to pronounce stroke (audio) \
stroked; stroking

Definition of stroke

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to rub gently in one direction also : caress
2 : to flatter or pay attention to in a manner designed to reassure or persuade

stroke

noun

Definition of stroke (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of striking especially : a blow with a weapon or implement
2 : a single unbroken movement especially : one of a series of repeated or to-and-fro movements
3a : a controlled swing intended to hit a ball or shuttlecock also : a striking of the ball
b : such a stroke charged to a player as a unit of scoring in golf
4a : a sudden action or process producing an impact a stroke of lightning
b : an unexpected result a stroke of luck the idea was a stroke of inspiration a master stroke of diplomacy
5 : sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain

called also apoplexy, brain attack, cerebrovascular accident

6a : one of a series of propelling beats or movements against a resisting medium a stroke of the oar
b : a rower who sets the pace for a crew
7a : a vigorous or energetic effort by which something is done, produced, or accomplished a stroke of genius a brilliant diplomatic stroke
b : a delicate or clever touch in a narrative, description, or construction
8 : heartbeat
9 : the movement in either direction of a mechanical part (such as a piston) having a reciprocating motion also : the distance of such movement
10 : the sound of a bell being struck at the stroke of twelve also : the specific time indicated by or as if by such a sound
11 [ 1stroke ] : an act of stroking or caressing
12a : a mark or dash made by a single movement of an implement
b : one of the lines of a letter of the alphabet
at a stroke
: all at once spent her savings at a stroke

stroke

verb (2)
stroked; stroking

Definition of stroke (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to mark with a short line stroke the t's
b : to cancel by drawing a line through stroked out his name
2 : to set the stroke for (a rowing crew) also : to set the stroke for the crew of (a rowing boat)
3 : hit especially : to propel (a ball) with a controlled swinging blow

intransitive verb

1 : to execute a stroke
2 : to row at a certain number of strokes a minute

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stroke

Verb (1)

stroker noun

Examples of stroke in a Sentence

Noun

He had a stroke last winter. She has a strong backhand stroke. He is ahead by two strokes. She swims with long, smooth strokes. the stroke of an oar She knows the four basic strokes.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After Joc Pederson reached on a strikeout/wild pitch in the third, Justin Turner doubled to left, Bellinger was intentionally walked and Seager stroked an RBI single to right-center off Giants starter Jeff Samardzija (3-5) for a 1-0 lead. Mike Digiovanna, latimes.com, "Corey Seager's four hits, four RBIs lead Dodgers past Giants," 8 June 2019 Workers can stroke, cuddle and ooh and ah over the adorableness, all while lowering blood pressure without the use of medication. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "To ease stress, take two puppies and call us in the morning," 7 June 2019 Way to cleverly stroke the ego while dumping someone at the same time, girl. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'Songland' Recap: Will Kelsea Ballerini Find 'Luck' With a New Sound?," 12 June 2019 The maid became aware, after a time, that the woman was stroking other parts of her: her back, her leg, the side of her breast through the wool tunic. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 Adelaide jumped on request, and allowed a visitor to feed her with one hand, leaving the other free to stroke her dense, luxuriant fur. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Roos, geese, and a blue-tongued lizard: Behind the scenes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park," 8 June 2019 Becca holds onto Arie while using her thumb to stroke his arm. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, "A Body Language Expert Weighs in on Whether 'Bachelor' Arie and Becca's Love Looked Real," 6 Mar. 2018 Both will cause fins to stroke faster or more powerfully. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "This Swimming Stingray Robot Is Powered by Real, Living Rat Cells," 7 July 2016 Bates led off the third with a single to right, moved to second on a wild pickoff attempt and scored when Flores stroked a single to center on a 1-2 count. Terry Wood, The Seattle Times, "Huskies down Fordham in their opening game at NCAA softball regionals," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The president has been briefed on the broad strokes of the plan, but not the precise details, the official said. Anchorage Daily News, "Fear of immigration raids looms as plans for ICE ‘family operation’ move forward," 6 July 2019 The president has been briefed on the broad strokes of the plan, but not the precise details, the official said. Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Fear of immigration raids looms as plans for ICE “family operation” move forward," 6 July 2019 In an astronomical stroke of luck, the path of totality will pass over two of the world’s largest telescopes, both in Chile. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "How to watch South America’s total eclipse from anywhere," 2 July 2019 With the stroke of midnight approaching like an unstoppable freight train, the Senate struggled to find its footing. oregonlive.com, "Oregon lawmakers wrap up buzzer-beating 2019 session," 30 June 2019 With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 717 that authorizes the new County Court of Law, No. 2 for Liberty County. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "County tax office moving out of courthouse," 27 June 2019 For the couple, who splits their time between Santa Fe and Brooklyn, their foray into skin care was born out of a stroke of bad luck. Akili King, Vogue, "Meet Ayond: The New Skin-Care Brand Bottling the Health Benefits of the Desert," 26 June 2019 Local zoning and land-use regulations have swelled since the 1970s and cannot be eliminated in one stroke of a pen by the federal government. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, "Trump Administration to Take on Local Housing Barriers," 25 June 2019 The Borussia Dortmund forward almost doubled his and Denmark's tally on the stroke of half time, only to be denied by Dragan Rosic in the Serbian goal. SI.com, "UEFA European Under-21 Championship Roundup: Germany Progress With Denmark Missing Out Despite Win," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stroke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stroke

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1597, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for stroke

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English strācian; akin to Old High German strīhhan to stroke — more at strike

Noun

Middle English; akin to Old English strīcan to stroke — more at strike

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stroke

Statistics for stroke

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stroke

The first known use of stroke was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stroke

stroke

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stroke

medical : a serious illness caused when a blood vessel in your brain suddenly breaks or is blocked
: an act of hitting a ball or the movement made to hit a ball during a game
golf : an act of hitting the ball that is counted as part of a player's score

stroke

verb
\ ˈstrōk How to pronounce stroke (audio) \
stroked; stroking

Kids Definition of stroke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to rub gently in one direction I stroked the dog's head.

stroke

noun

Kids Definition of stroke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of striking : blow the stroke of a whip
2 : one of a series of repeated movements (as in swimming or rowing)
3 : a sudden serious illness caused by the breaking or blocking of an artery in the brain
4 : the sound of striking (as of a clock or bell) the stroke of midnight
5 : the hitting of a ball in a game (as golf or tennis)
6 : a sudden or unexpected example a stroke of luck
7 : a single movement or the mark made by a single movement of a brush, pen, or tool
8 : a sudden action or process that results in something being struck a stroke of lightning
9 : effort by which something is done or the results of such effort It was a stroke of genius.

stroke

noun
\ ˈstrōk How to pronounce stroke (audio) \

Medical Definition of stroke

: sudden impairment or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion that is caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel supplying the brain and is accompanied by permanent damage of brain tissue

Note: Symptoms of stroke include numbness or weakness on one side of the body or face, confusion, impaired speech or vision, loss of coordination or balance, trouble walking, or severe headache. The most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke, results from a narrowed or blocked blood vessel, while hemorrhagic stroke results from a ruptured blood vessel. A very brief interruption of blood supply to the brain usually without lasting effects is called a ministroke or a transient ischemic attack.

… people at risk for stroke should be evaluated for surgery to open up blockages in the arteries of the neck.— Jay Siwek, The Washington Post, 22 June 1999 Partial paralysis and speech difficulties often follow these strokes.— Bruce Bower, Science News, 25 Feb. 1984 stroke survivors

called also apoplexy, brain attack, cerebral accident, cerebrovascular accident

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stroke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stroke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stroke

Spanish Central: Translation of stroke

Nglish: Translation of stroke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stroke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stroke

Comments on stroke

What made you want to look up stroke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!